Heartland Express Inc. (HTLD) stock slips after being downgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Heartland Express Inc. (NASDAQ: HTLD) shares fell yesterday on lower trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock with a downgraded rating.

Analysts at Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Heartland Express Inc. (NASDAQ: HTLD) from Hold to Sell in a research note to investors today. With a rating of Sell on the shares, the company has a 52-week high of $21.95. A number of other analysts have spoken on the company in recent days, and the company has secured a consensus one-year price target of $17.22, less than the opening price of $18.88, a difference of 9.12 percent. Downgrades occur when analysts believe that the future prospects for the security have dropped from the initial recommendation, usually because of a considerable and fundamental change in the company’s actions, future vision or industry.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.49% rose 88.55 points, or 0.5% to close at 18,329.04, yesterday.
The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.46% closed up 9.92 points, or 0.5%, at 2,163.66

The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.69% gained 36.27 points, or 0.7%, to finish at 5,328.67.

In early trading today however, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.63% dropped 103 points, or 0.6%, to 18,227.
The S&P 500 index SPX, -0.69% fell 12 points, or 0.6%, to 2,150, with all of its main sectors trading lower.

Meanwhile the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.79% fell 32 points, or 0.6%, to 5,295, dragged down by heavy losses in biotech stocks.

Heartland Express Inc. (NASDAQ: HTLD) shares last traded at $18.88, a drop of $0.01 per share or -0.00 compared to the previous closing price. Opening at $18.88, they varied from $18.82 and $18.88 throughout the day.

Heartland Express Inc. (NASDAQ: HTLD) currently has a market cap of 1.57B.

Heartland Express Inc.Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 469,277 shares out of a total float 40,422,000 and some 7,437 shares traded hands yesterday, lower than the norm. Investors often use upticks in trading volume to determine heavy volume aggregation or distribution by institutional investors, so look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days.

As with all possible breakouts, investors watch for volume to be at least 40%-50% greater than normal on the breakout to demonstrate that fund managers and other professional investors are jumping in.

Institutional sponsorship is defined by ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

These instituitional investors have teams of analysts that investigate thousands of stocks. So watching their interests is a good way to make sure you are buying the right stocks.

Heartland Express Inc. Moving Averages

A moving average can also act as support or resistance. In an uptrend a 50-day, 100-day or 200-day moving average may act as a support level, as shown in the figure below.

This is because the average acts like a floor (support), so the price bounces up off of it.

In a downtrend a moving average may act as resistance; like a ceiling, the price hits it and then starts to drop again.

By identifying trends, moving averages allow traders to make those trends work in their favor and increase the number of successful trades.

Trades for Heartland Express Inc. (NASDAQ: HTLD) have ranged from $15.36 – 21.950, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $19.06 and 200-day MA of $18.31. Today’s last price is 0.14% lower than the 52 week high of $21.95.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most critical things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors watch for companies that have increased their earnings by at least 25% over the past 3 years.

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